Man who kidnapped Jayme Closs and murdered her parents sentenced to life in prison

The Wisconsin man who admitted to kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and holding her captive for nearly three months after murdering her parents was sentenced to life behind bars on Friday.

Jake Patterson — wearing an orange jumpsuit, shackled at the midsection — looked down or straight ahead throughout much of the hearing before Barron County Circuit Court Judge James Babler.

“He stole my parents from me. He stole almost everything I loved from me," Jayme Closs, 13, said in a statement read in court by her lawyer, Chris Gramstrup.

"For 88 days he tried to steal me and he didn’t care who he hurt or who killed to do that. He should stay locked up forever.”

Babler called Patterson "the embodiment of evil."

"There is no doubt in my mind you are one of the dangerous men to ever walk on this planet."

Patterson, 21, kidnapped Jayme on Oct. 15 and killed her parents, James Closs, 56, and his wife Denise, 46, with a shotgun before taking the girl to his cabin in the small, isolated town of Gordon, about 60 miles from the Closs home in Barron.

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Jayme Closs kidnapping case
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Jayme Closs kidnapping case
Jayme Closs (Photo: FBI Milwaukee)
This photo provided by the Barron County Sheriff's Department in Barron, Wis., shows Jake Thomas Patterson, of the Town of Gordon, Wis., who has been jailed on kidnapping and homicide charges in the October killing of a Wisconsin couple and abduction of their teen daughter, Jayme Closs. Closs was found alive Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in the Town of Gordon. (Barron County Sheriff's Department via AP)
A sign is seen in the small town of Barron, Wis., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, where 13-year-old Jayme Closs was discovered missing Oct. 15 after her parents were found fatally shot at their home. A search was being organized to find the couple's missing daughter. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen)
A U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) missing person poster shows Jayme Closs, a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl, missing since her parents were discovered fatally shot three months ago, has been located in Gordon, Wisconsin, U.S. as seen in this poster provided January 11, 2019. FBI/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Volunteers search a field along 15th Ave. near highway 25 just north of Barron, Wis., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, for 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who was discovered missing Oct. 15 after her parents were found fatally shot at their home. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald holds up the booking photo of Jake Thomas Patterson, who allegedly kidnapped Jayme Closs, during a news conference, Friday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Barron, Wis. Closs, a 13-year-old northwestern Wisconsin girl who went missing in October after her parents were killed, was found alive in the rural town of Gordon, Wis., about about 60 miles north of her home in Barron. Investigators believe Patterson, who was taken into custody shortly after Closs was found, killed her parents because he wanted to abduct her. (Jean Pieri/Pioneer Press via AP)
Greg Niemuth, of Eau Claire, Wis., searches a wooded area along 15th Av. near Highway 25, north of town for missing 13-year-old Jayme Closs in Barron, Wis., Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018. Hundreds of volunteers in rows walked through swamps, cornfields and woods on Tuesday in search of clues that might lead investigators to the Wisconsin girl whose parents were killed and who is believed to have been abducted. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
Jayme Closs (Photo: FBI Milwaukee)
Louie Lauderdale, of Lake Geneva, Wis. searches near a cornfield along 15th Ave. near highway 25 just North of Barron, Wis., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, for 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who was discovered missing Oct. 15 after her parents were found fatally shot at their home. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald speaks during a news conference, Friday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Barron, Wis., regarding the arrest of Jake Thomas Patterson, who allegedly kidnapped Jayme Closs, Closs, a 13-year-old northwestern Wisconsin girl who went missing in October after her parents were killed, was found alive in the rural town of Gordon, Wis., about about 60 miles north of her home in Barron. Investigators believe Patterson, who was taken into custody shortly after Closs was found, killed her parents because he wanted to abduct her. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)
A Barron County, Wis., sheriff's vehicle sits Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, outside the home where James Closs and Denise Closs were found fatally shot on Oct. 15. A search was being organized to find the couple's missing 13-year-old daughter, Jayme. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen)
Hundreds of volunteers gather Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, in Barron, Wis., to assist in the search for Jayme Closs, a missing teenage Wisconsin girl, whose parents were killed in the family's home. Jayme has been missing since Oct. 15, when deputies responding to a 911 call found that someone had broken into the family's home in Barron and gunned down James and Denise Closs. (Jerry Holt /Star Tribune via AP)
Volunteers cross a creek and barbed wire near Barron, Wis., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, on their way to a ground search for 13-year-old Jayme Closs who was discovered missing Oct. 15 after her parents were found fatally shot at their home. The search for Closs was expanded Tuesday, with as many as 2,000 volunteers expected to take part in a search of the area. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen)
Jayme Closs (Photo: FBI Milwaukee)
Volunteers line up along Highway 25 just north of Barron, Wis., Oct. 23, 2018, to assist in the search for Jayme Closs, a missing teenage Wisconsin girl, whose parents were killed in the family's home. Jayme has been missing since Oct. 15, when deputies responding to a 911 call found that someone had broken into the family's home in Barron and gunned down James and Denise Closs. (Jerry Holt /Star Tribune via AP)
Volunteers gather at a cornfield along 15th Ave. near highway 25 just North of Barron, Wis., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, as they search for 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who was discovered missing Oct. 15 after her parents were found fatally shot at their home. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
People attend a gathering during a moment of silence for Jayme Closs at the Barron High School Football Stadium, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. Authorities revealed they're looking for two vehicles in connection with the disappearance of the Wisconsin girl whose parents were gunned down last week, calling on hundreds of volunteers to resume a ground search. State, local and federal investigators have been searching for Closs since early Oct. 15, when deputies discovered someone had broken into the family's rural Barron home and shot her parents to death. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
Jayme Closs (Photo: FBI Milwaukee)
Chris Kroeze, a contestant from the show The Voice, performs during a vigil for Jayme Closs at the Barron High School Football Stadium in Barron, Wis., Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. Authorities revealed they're looking for two vehicles in connection with the disappearance of the Wisconsin girl whose parents were gunned down last week, calling on hundreds of volunteers to resume a ground search. State, local and federal investigators have been searching for Closs since early Oct. 15, when deputies discovered someone had broken into the family's rural Barron home and shot her parents to death. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
Steven Fowler of luck Wis., and his dog Cheeka search a cornfield along 15th Ave. near highway 25 just North of Barron, Wis., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, for 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who was discovered missing Oct. 15 after her parents were found fatally shot at their home. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
A group of volunteers searched the ditches along highway 8 Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Barron, Wis., near the home where 13-year-old Jayme Closs lived with her parents James, and Denise. (Jerry Holt /Star Tribune via AP)
Jayme Closs (Photo: FBI Milwaukee)
People attend a gathering during a moment of silence for Jayme Closs at the Barron High School Football Stadium in Barron, Wis., Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. Authorities revealed they're looking for two vehicles in connection with the disappearance of the Wisconsin girl whose parents were gunned down last week, calling on hundreds of volunteers to resume a ground search. State, local and federal investigators have been searching for Closs since early Oct. 15, when deputies discovered someone had broken into the family's rural Barron home and shot her parents to death. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
Wisconsin DNR warden supervisor Russell T Fell selected 100 volunteers to searched the ditches along highway 8 Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Barron, Wis., near the home where 13-year-old Jayme Closs lived with her parents James, and Denise. (Jerry Holt /Star Tribune via AP)
Wisconsin DNR warden Supervisor Russell T Fell selected 100 volunteers to searched the ditches along highway 8, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Barron, Wis., near the home where 13-year-old Jayme Closs lived with her parents James, and Denise. (Jerry Holt /Star Tribune via AP)
Joan Smrekar talked about the night that she heard two gunshots at the home were where 13-year-old Jayme Closs parents James, and Denise was killed Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Barron, Wis. (Jerry Holt /Star Tribune via AP)
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald speaks during a news conference, Friday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Barron, Wis., regarding the arrest of Jake Thomas Patterson, who allegedly kidnapped Jayme Closs, Closs, a 13-year-old northwestern Wisconsin girl who went missing in October after her parents were killed, was found alive in the rural town of Gordon, Wis., about about 60 miles north of her home in Barron. Investigators believe Patterson, who was taken into custody shortly after Closs was found, killed her parents because he wanted to abduct her. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald holds up the booking photo of Jake Thomas Patterson, who allegedly kidnapped Jayme Closs, during a news conference, Friday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Barron, Wis. Closs, a 13-year-old northwestern Wisconsin girl who went missing in October after her parents were killed, was found alive in the rural town of Gordon, Wis., about about 60 miles north of her home in Barron. Investigators believe Patterson, who was taken into custody shortly after Closs was found, killed her parents because he wanted to abduct her. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)
Community members listened as representatives from various Wisconsin law enforcement agencies speak during a news conference, Friday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Barron, Wis., regarding the arrest of Jake Thomas Patterson, who allegedly kidnapped Jayme Closs. Closs, a 13-year-old northwestern Wisconsin girl who went missing in October after her parents were killed, was found alive in the rural town of Gordon, Wis., about about 60 miles north of her home in Barron. Investigators believe Patterson, who was taken into custody shortly after Closs was found, killed her parents because he wanted to abduct her. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)
Kristin Kasinskas, who lives on S. Eau Claire Acres Circle with her husband, Peter, speak with the media Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, in Gordon, Wis. Kristin Kasinskas called 911 on Thursday, to report that Jayme Closs, 13, had been found after another neighbor out walking her dog encountered her and brought her to Kasinskas' house. Closs went missing in October after her parents were killed. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)
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Jayme was forced to live under a bed, which Patterson barricaded with storage boxes and other weights before escaping.

Patterson pleaded guilty in March to two counts of intentional homicide and one charge of kidnapping. As he left the courtroom that day, Patterson uttered: "Bye, Jayme."

"He can’t take my freedom. He thought he could own me, but he was wrong," Jayme said in her statement to the court. "I was smarter. I watched his routine and I took back my freedom. I will always have my freedom and he will not.”

Patterson spoke briefly to the court and apologized.

"I’ll just say that I would do, like, absolutely anything to take back what I did. I would die," Patterson said, fighting back tears. "I don’t care about me, I just am sorry. That’s all.”

Three aunts, two uncles and cousin of Jayme made emotional victim impact statements on Friday, urging the judge to put Patterson away for life.

The teen's aunt, Jennifer Smith, said she still suffers nightmares over the murders of her sister and brother-in-law.

"She doesn’t have a normal 13-year-old life," Smith told the court. "We now live in fear every day, watch our backs, have home security don’t feel safe.”

Lindsey Smith, a cousin of Jayme's, said she still can't shake the horrible memory of how the teen's mom died seeing her daughter being kidnapped.

"No one should leave this earth in such a horrible way," Smith told the court.

But the girl finally broke free from the house on Jan. 10 after 88 days and flagged down Patterson's neighbor Jeanne Nutter, who was out walking her dog.

Nutter then took Jayme to the nearby home of Kristin and Peter Kasinskas, pounded on their door, and told them: "This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!"

When he was pulled over by police, Patterson immediately gave up. He told arresting police officers: “I know what this is about. I did it.”

Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright urged Babler not to believe Patterson is remorseful at all and the case was solved because Jayme didn't obey his commands.

"He got caught because Jayme didn’t follow his rules," said Wright, who showed the court, in painstaking detail, how Patterson carried out his crimes. "He made it clear that something really bad would happen to her if she did not follow his rules.”

Defense lawyer Charles Glynn said his client is truly sorry and has shown that by pleading guilty to all charges and forgoing a trial, saving the taxpayers millions of dollars and countless hours of potential witnesses.

"Mr. Patterson knows and has accepted that he is going to die in prison. And hasn’t asked us to argue for anything else,” Glynn said.

The killer wrote a letter to NBC affiliate KARE, telling a reporter he's been cooperative with police so as to spare Jayme from any more questioning. He didn't, however, fully explain why committed the grisly crime, only saying of his motive: "It’s not black and white."

He's told investigators that he targeted Jayme as "the girl he was going to take" after spotting her getting on a school bus near her home, according to a criminal complaint.

Patterson admitted to planning his crime meticulously, wearing all-black clothing, putting stolen license plates on his car and making sure he left no fingerprints on the shotgun he used to kill Jayme's parents.

Jayme told investigators she woke up early on the morning of Oct. 15 because the family's dog was barking.

As James Closs went to investigate the car which had rolled up to their driveway, Jayme and her mom hid in the bathtub. James Closs was then killed moments later by a shotgun blast, fired by Patterson, prosecutors said.

Patterson found Jayme and her mom, and taped the girl's mouth shut and bound her behind her back before gunning down Denise Closs, the teen has said.

At Friday's sentencing, Jayme's aunt and James Closs' sister, Kelly Engelhardt, said Sundays will never be the same. James Closs was ardent Green Bay Packers fan and the family enjoyed their time together, she said.

"None of us are going to win today," Engelhardt told the court. "None of us are going to get our family members back."

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